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Teacher Education for Languages with Technology / Formation des enseignants de langue avec les TICE
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The Saga of Schwi: Ward, 2013

As it happens, the name schwi is helpful in naming a higher type of schwa, closer in sound to short I. You see, there is a hypothesis that English has two distinct types of schwas, one which is closer and one which is opener. The difference is epitomized by the phonetic contrast between ‘Georgia’s’ and ‘George’s,’ between ‘affect’ and ‘effect,’ or between ‘Lennon’ and ‘Lenin’ (in both these examples, the first one has the more open vowel). Among commentators on John Well’s English phonetics blog, the closer one is often called schwi and the opener one is often called schwa. (Wells himself has not embraced the term schwi.)

That’s the origin of the word schwi in a nutshell, but there’s more to it than that.

Shona Whyte's insight:

Via @GlenysHanson

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John Wells's phonetic blog: what's important in intonation for EFL?

John Wells's phonetic blog: what's important in intonation for EFL? | TELT | Scoop.it
Wells quotes Francis Nolan on priorities for learners:

…I will suggest that what learners need is a strategy which will optimise the pedagogical cost-benefit ratio in terms of (in order of priority) intelligibility, the avoidance of inadvertent offence, and (lowest in priority) the mastery of intonational nuances. Broadly corresponding to these three goals would be three prioritised learning targets: the mastery of accentuation (involving stress placement, rhythm, and pitch prominence achieved by a reduced inventory of pitch accents); the eradication of any L1-influenced phonetic realisations of pitch accents which might convey unintended meaning in English; and (lowest in priority) the acquisition of a more complete set of intonational pitch contrasts.
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